Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Good Things About France No. 1: Louis de Funes

At the risk of starting to seem rather critical about France, which would not really be an accurate representation of the way I feel about the place, I thought I'd start a series of articles listing all the good things I've discovered about France which are not that well known.

The first one is Louis de Funes. This guy is a really funny French comic, a bit like a Gallic version of John Cleese. I have watched a couple of his films which are both very good. The first is 'Oscar' which is the film of a farce originally put on in the theatre in which a goonish millionaire tries to outwit a potential son-in-law who arrives with a valise full of jewels in return for the hand of his daughter. Louis developed the part of the millionaire by playing the role hundreds of times in the theatre, and it shows in his brilliant performance which is really fundamental to the succes of the piece.

The second film is 'La Grande Vadrouillle' which is about a bunch of British airmen who bail out over Paris. In a series of unlikely adventures they escape from Paris into the countryside and eventually to the unoccupied zone. It is also hilariously funny, especially the scene where the 'Bosch' dance around a French restaurant on their chairs. Need I say more?

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